By RAHIMI YUNUS / Pic By ISMAIL CHE RUS
Proton Holdings Bhd has projected a 30% growth in sales for its Iriz and Persona as a result of the upgrade and facelift of the two models, taking advantage of the technology provided by China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co Ltd.
CEO Dr Li Chunrong (picture) said both models — to be launched this month — will also be produced under a new system that would maximise cost efficiency which is part of a group-wide cost management programme.
The facelift models — along with the national carmaker’s flagship SUV, the X70 — are expected to boost Proton’s volume and help the company achieve profitability by next year.
“We are working hard to deliver good products. Proton can (reach) breakeven this year, and we must make profits by 2020,” he said at the exclusive media preview of the new Persona in Shah Alam yesterday.
Li added that the carmaker is optimistic to regain its market share and return to the second rank by year-end in place of Honda Malaysia Sdn Bhd, the country’s top non-national car brand by market share.
The company delivers an average of 1,000 Iriz and 2,000 Persona cars per month.
To date, Proton has received 350 bookings for the new Iriz since the model was previewed to the media on Feb 28.
On the new Persona, Proton has improved 303 items available in the 2019 model, including brake performance and fuel efficiency.
Last month, the carmaker sold 5,283 vehicles, jumping 37% year-on-year from a year ago, driven by the X70.
Proton, which is 49.9%-owned by Geely, posted a 42% increase in sales for the January-February period compared to its first two months of 2018.